SALT LAKE CITY — Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said Sunday that he doesn’t think the Senate Judiciary Committee should move forward with a vote for Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday until they hear more about sexual assault allegations.
What happened: On Sunday, Christine Blasey Ford came forward to The Washington Post with allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
- Details of that allegation came out last week, but Ford came forward with her story Sunday in full.
- Senators across the aisle reacted immediately to the news. Democrats called for the judiciary committee to hold off its Thursday vote, The Washington Post reported.
How Flake's involved: Flake, a Republican, was the first GOP senator to call for a pause on the Kavanaugh hearings until the committee hears from his accuser.
- “I’ve made it clear that I’m not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explore this further,” Flake told The Washington Post.
Why this matters: There are 11 Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee and 10 Democrats, per Bloomberg reporter Laura Litvan. Flake sits on the panel, showing the GOP majority is now in question.
- Flake has long been a member of the anti-Trump brigade among Congress members, according to Politico. Now, he holds political leverage that could thwart Trump’s push for Kavanaugh to be on the Supreme Court.
- “I think it’s too soon to tell, but Flake is the one man with the leverage to do this,” GOP strategist Rick Wilson told Politico. “With the one-vote margin on the committee, Jeff Flake has the power to stop Kavanaugh, and to humiliate Trump. Revenge is a dish best served cold, as the philosopher once said.”
What about Utah?: Utah Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee both sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hatch said he supports "efforts to begin our due diligence" to deal with the accusations.
- "As I said last week, any accuser deserves to be heard," said Hatch, the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Hatch and Lee ripped the theatrics of the Senate hearing, though, earlier this month.
Read more: Flake recently spoke with the Deseret News about how he would prefer a Democratic president who restored civility over Trump.